Warring factions in the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) once again traded blows on Friday as a full-blown war erupted between Arvind Kejriwal loyalists and dissidents Yogendra Yadav and Prashant Bhushan.
A day ahead of a key AAP meeting, Bhushan and Yadav accused Kejriwal of stifling the rookie party's internal democracy, and claimed that he even threatened to float a new regional party with all its MLAs as he "cannot work with us".
On its part, the Kejriwal camp strongly rebutted the allegations and accused the two founding members of working to ensure party's defeat in the Delhi polls, saying they had links with AAP's breakaway faction AVAM, which had alleged that the party got "shady" funds of Rs 2 crore last year.
The BJP, meanwhile, hit out at the AAP, which registered a thumping victory in the Delhi assembly elections just about a month ago.
As allegations and counter-allegations continue, here's your guide to who said what in the raging verbal battle.
Bhushan alleged that following the party's massive defeat in the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, AAP's national convenor Kejriwal wanted to form a government in Delhi with the support of Congress, despite opposition from many. "Arvind said that as national convenor, he had the right to take the final decision and he has decided to take Congress' support to form the government in Delhi. However, we protested."
#Soul of the struggle
Yadav said he and Bhushan were fighting to "save the soul of the struggle" that gave birth to the AAP.
"It (AAP) is not an ordinary party, it was born out of a revolution to clean the system, end corruption and give power to the common people. People have high hopes from this party. But the developments in the last one month have disappointed many. We are fighting to save the soul of the struggle that gave birth to this party," Yadav said.
Emphasising five demands -- transparency in the party, autonomy for local units, lokpal to probe graft charges, openness to RTI and no secret ballots for key votes, Yadav said if the party chief was ready to accept the five demands, he and Bushan were ready to resign from all party posts.
"We had sent a note to the party placing our demands which is now being shown as our resignation letter. Whereas it was a conditional letter to resign. We had said if our five demands are met, we will resign from all party posts," Yadav said.
Bhushan alleged, "Arvind was saying time and again that I cannot work with them. 'I will form a separate party of 67 MLAs in Delhi'. Why this idea of removing us came to his mind."
He identified two "fatal shortcomings" of Kejriwal that he said will potentially damage the party in the long run.
"He wants his decisions to be final. He cannot work with people who have differing voices and stand up to him. He thinks his intentions are right but means should be clean as well. That is not enough, means matter a lot," Bhushan said.
#They should resign
Kapil Mishra said the dissident duo should be removed from the party at the earliest as they are working against the political organisation and harming it.
"There is no confusion. All the Delhi MLAs have signed a proposal, which will come before the national council tomorrow (Saturday) with regards to the removal of Prashant Bhushan and Yogendra Yadav from the party. They are working against the party and are harming it," Mishra said.
AAP leader Kumar Vishwas also said "if nothing is working then you (the duo) should depart gracefully". "Personal jealousy and frustration is there. But there are also some forces for the rift within the AAP," he said.
Party leader Dilip Pandey alleged there was some deep conspiracy against Delhi CM Kejriwal. "There is some deep conspiracy against Kejriwal, there were many "sting operations" to defame Arvind."
Cashing in on the opportunity, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) said the AAP was turning out to be just like the Congress, where one man and one family rules.
"AAP party has degenerated into worst kind of a regional party where one man party is there. It's turning out to be another Congress where one man and one family rules," said BJP spokesperson GVL Narasimha Rao.
BJP leader Shazia Ilmi said that it was "unfortunate" that excuses were being made and the impression given that Yadav and Bhushan were against the party.
Branding the AAP government as a 'ladne aur dharne wali sarkar (a party which is busy fighting)', Delhi Congress president Ajay Maken said the people are facing various problems while it is busy fighting, either with another state or with the Centre or among themselves.
"The AAP government is busy in fighting while the people of Delhi are facing different problems. Sometimes they fight with Haryana, sometimes with the Centre, and when they do not find anyone they fight among themselves.
"I would suggest Kejriwal to desist from fightings and dharna and start work as the people of Delhi elected his party with high hopes," he said.
The AAP came to power in Delhi on the back of a crushing majority less than a month ago but has been struggling to paper over the cracks after a series of leaked letters revealed two camps -- one supporting Kejriwal and the other comprising veterans like Yadav and Prashant who say the chief minister is dictatorial.
The party's national council, a 30-member body, will discuss the slighting of Prashant and Yadav in its March 28 meeting. Chances of a truce, however, seemed to have nosedived as the dissident leaders have publicly accused Kejriwal of stifling internal democracy and adopting unfair means to capture power, while the other camp has hit back, accusing the party veterans of trying to sabotage the two-year-old outfit.
Yadav and Bhushan have also alleged that any issue raised by them was being projected as questioning the Delhi chief minister’s leadership and attempts to remove him from the post of AAP’s national convenor.